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Scuba Diving-Going Beyond the Limit With my ROV

Updated on July 31, 2010

Homemade ROV

I´ve always respected the depth limit in my dives through what is taught to new divers by the professionals back at scuba school. My first scuba diving year was very intense and I thirstily and rapidly gained knowledge through more and more advance scuba courses and experience. Soon enough I was able to teach and pass on my diving knowledge!

This is my personal experience in wanting to know what is beyond your limit! Boy, I love diving! And damn, am I curious!

Mind you, for some time I though seriously about taking an extended range course!

Extended range is diving deeper, way much deeper than the 40 meter safety limit! This is done by the use of several gases and mixes that are not compressible and toxic to your system!

In extended range, you could be taking three to six bottles with you at one time on a dive and decompression on the way up, could take hours!

Front view
Front view
Top view
Top view

(Sorry folk´s, very short version here of what extended range is without going into detail!)

Unfortunately enough in my area there was not any other diving buddy of mine interested in extended range and maybe due to bound destiny due to my passionate involvement, I was already a co-founder of a diving association and going in weeks long diving expeditions in the mid-Atlantic over some seamounts with a crew, dive buddies, university students, scientists, reporters and so!

Still curiosity was under my skin, I mean neoprene, in what was further than my diving limit!

Back at terra firma I started to draw sketches of what was going on in my mind for the last nine months. Because i´ll tell you now that buying a remote operated vehicle (ROV) from a manufacturer was insanely expensive!

After getting the extensive information and with my blueprint at hand I started to get the necessary parts for assembly!

I first built from a steel tube what was to hold the color CCTV camera, and had specifically ordered a 1.3cm thick X 17cm wide tempered glass fitted with my own made o´rings! This tempered glass can withstand a pressure of a thousand kgs per cm2!

Port side view
Port side view
Starboard side thruster view
Starboard side thruster view
Control unit
Control unit
The Drakkar loaded on a sailboat ready to cast off
The Drakkar loaded on a sailboat ready to cast off

Once this homemade waterproof video housing was built and painted it was tested 10 miles off-shore the following weekend! I got a very long long sturdy rope and tied it to the housing together with a depth gauge!

As soon as the Garmin fish finder hit the 300m depth range we stopped the boat and lowered the housing and down it went. After the rope coming to almost the end we waited a while and pulled the housing back on board! Was that a task! As soon as I pulled up the housing I inspected the interior for water leakage and found none, but the depth gauge read 270m, wow! Test successful! On to the next stages, this was building and assembling the frame!

After many painstaking hours and days I got it assembled and ready for a test! It was first tested in a pool and it worked marvelously! Everybody around was aghast and marveled by this homemade submersible!

The next stage test was out in the blue! We anchored the boat very close to shore in a protected bay and it was between tides. The depth was 10m and slowly my ROV landed on the sandy bottom. Did a few maneuvers as a test that went well and then the current began to increase and found out that the motors can only handle weak currents!

Probably I miscalculated in choosing and fitting those motors, they can always be replaced by more powerful ones! But still the great joy this project gave me is inexplicable!

Updates will be published, so if you liked this project bookmark this page and stay tuned!

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